"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.


 "Asia and Africa today" № 6 2017



AziaAfrika 06 2017


 Top Problem

SYRIAN TRAGEDY. THE BIRTH OF MONSTERS. Part 2 by Alexey M. VASILIEV, academician, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Honorary President, Institute for African Studies (RAS); Chair, African and Arab Studies, People's Friendship University of Russia (PFUR); Editor-in-Chief, "Asia and Africa today" journal
The civil war in Syria was not limited to the struggle of armed internal opposition with the regime and actions of fanatical terrorist groups. Many regional actors intervened directly or indirectly into the war. Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia stood on the side of the opposition, and sometimes de facto even on the side of IGIL and An-Nusra. The regime received the support of Iran, the Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. In Syria, there was a «war through intermediaries» (proxy war) on a regional scale. The author gives facts reflecting the specifics of this particular regional war.

Keywords: Syrian civil war, Regional actors, allies and opponents of the Baathist regime in Syria.


 Policy, Economy

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN CHINA by Vladilen G. BUROV, Dr.Sc (Philosophy), Head Research Fellow, Professor, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
One of the serious problems currently existing in China is corruption. At the XVIII Congress of the CPC (November 2012) it was stated that it threatens the very existence of the Communist party and the state. Therefore, after the Congress large-scale fight was launched against it. In October 2016 at the VI Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPC two documents were adopted aimed at strengthening party discipline and internal party control. Special attention was paid to the behavior of «senior managerial personnel». Keywords: China, corruption, fight against corruption, party discipline, internal party control.
Keywords: China, corruption, fight against corruption, party discipline, internal party control


ISLAMIST MOVEMENTS: FROM FUNDAMENTALISM TO TERROR? by Anatoly D. SAVATEEV, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Fellow Researcher, Сеntre for Civilizational and Regional Studies, Institute for African Studies (RAS); Professor, Peoples’ Friendship University оf Russia
The article attempted to streamline the existing views on Islamist movements on the basis of concepts describing different aspects of their origin, evolution, spiritual-religious and political orientation. It shows the diverse nature of Islamic fundamentalism, causes of Islamism’s formation in its various political manifestations, including extremist forms. The author presents various types of Islamic radicalism, debunks the one-dimensional representation about it and about Islam in general. The article’s main conclusion is that the Islamist movement have assumed geo-political and geo-civilizational value.
Keywords: Islamic fundamentalism, islamist movements, terminology and ideas of Islamism, political Islam, pseudoislamic terrorism


The paper explores some factors that have contributed to the growing of terrorist activity in Kenya and the region of East Africa. The accent is made on the mujahedin networks created by Kenyan sheikhs and Muslim activists. The verification and multilevel examination of information are thoroughly applied.
Keywords: Kenya, al Shabaab, terrorist actions, «Westgate», Mpeketoni, Garissa


YOUTH POLICY OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS’ PARTY by Dmitry D. PETROV, PhD (History), Independent Researcher
Article concerns youth policy of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the context of ideological and political struggle of the PKK movement against Islamism in the Middle East. Author analyzes an attitude of the PKK towards religion and Islam in particular. Research is based on the case of Makhmour refugee camp settled in Kurdistan Autonomous region (Iraq), where authors’ fieldwork took place. Article shows the implementation of the ideas of «Democratic Confederalism» within Makhmour’s system of school and higher education. Research considers a role of educational system as an instrument of ideological indoctrination within local community.
Keywords: Kurds, Iraq, crisis in the Middle East, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Islamism


THE COMOROS: «THE MOST FEDERAL» COUNTRY IN AFRICA? by Khristina M. TURINSKAYA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, RAS
It is a review of the federal system and contemporary political situation in the Comoros. The author analyses the «center-region» relations, the separatist problem and the unresolved question of the contested island of Mayotte, which has been annexed by France. The piece deals with the dynamics of the islands` autonomy and examines the constitutionally adopted principle of the Union presidents` rotation, which depends on a candidate`s origin from one of the islands of the Comoros archipelago. The issue is whether the rotational presidency really guarantees a high level of decentralization for the political system of the Union.
Keywords: Union of the Comoros, Autonomy, Federalism, Rotational Presidency


Mass innovative entrepreneurship is defined in China as a driver of the development during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2015- 2020). The article considers the main directions and concrete measures to support the innovative development of small and mediumsized enterprises in order to activate their scientific and technological capacity and entrepreneurial initiative, to ensure the growth of quality and economic efficiency. Chinese authorities intend to provide them with political, financial, technological and other necessary support.
Keywords: China, the 13th Five-Year Plan, innovative entrepreneurship, small and medium-sized enterprises


EDUCATION OF VIETNAMESE YOUTH IN RUSSIA by Thi Hong Van LO (Vietnam), Master of Science, and Olga A. AKSENOVA, Dr.Sc. (Economics), Professor. Peter the Great St.-Petersburg Polytechnic University
The article is devoted to cooperation between Russia and Vietnam in the humanitarian sphere - education, as a foundation for all other forms of cooperation. Based on years of experience of cooperation of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in the field of education and analysis of collected data the current problems affecting the learning outcomes of Vietnamese students were identified. The recommendations are given for changing the system of selection standards and methods of motivation.
Keywords: Russian-Vietnamese relationships, education, students, criteria for selection, learning outcomes, problems


 Russia and The East

RUSSIA AND COTE D’IVOIRE: THE PERSPECTIVES OF THE TRADE AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS by Vadua BAMBA (Cote d’Ivoire), Post-graduate student, Don State Technical University, Russia
This paper is concerned with the matters of trade and economic cooperation between Cote d’Ivoire and Russia. The priority fields of the bilateral ties are agriculture, mining, and prospecting for oil, copper, gold and diamonds. The current state of the bilateral ties and the prospects for further development have been reviewed.
Keywords: Cote d’Ivoire, Russia, trade and economic relations, agriculture, extractive industries, oil, gas


 From Our Staff Correspondent

ETHIOPIAN COFFEE CEREMONY by Vladimir P. NEMCHENKO, our Staff correspondent in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an important element of the national culture. It is considered to be the most important social occasion in many villages and a sign of respect and friendship.

Keywords: coffeе, ceremony, Ethiopia


 Post-Graduate Column

INDIA AND THE COMMONWEALTH: PAST AND PRESENT by Lidia V. KULIK, applicant, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University)
The article analyses the role of India in formation and development of the Commonwealth and traces the evolution of relations between India and the UK in the context of this organization. The author also examines the current positions of the two counties with regards to this international association - its’ aims, focus and vectors of further development as well as roles of the key memberstates, evaluates the prospects of transformation of this club under the influence of the changing international environment.
Keywords: Commonwealth, relations between UK and India, British foreign policy, foreign policy of India


KURDISTAN AND ISRAEL - A SILENT FRIENDSHIP by L. Savasta (Italy), Post-graduate student, Higher School of Economics, Moscow
This article aims to show and explain the Israeli-Kurdish relations within modern history and the ongoing political and military process in the Middle East. The first part of this article is dedicated to show the efficiency of Kurdish Peshmerga forces. After this first part, it will go deep in what is the main topic, Israeli-Kurdish relations and it will show which the main links are and how they develop their relations. It will conclude explaining the changes in the geopolitical setting, the step that Kurds are taking, how this can be connected with the Jewish State and which impact could result.
 Keywords: Kurdistan, Israel, foreign policy, Middle East, international relations, Kurdish statehood, peshmerga


 Culture, Literature, Art

MUGHAL ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE IN CONTEMPORARY DELHI: HUMAYUN’S TOMB by Aleksandra A. KOZLOVA, Post-graduate student, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University
The article focuses on the role of Mughal architectural heritage represented by Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, which was the first of the grand dynastic mausoleums built in India by the Great Mughals. During the Late Mughals, Humayun’s tomb was desolated and neglected. Foreign travellers who visited the Mughal Empire in the XIXth century described the decay of its former splendour and gradual destruction of architectural structures. Preservation of architectural heritage has been an urgent issue in contemporary Delhi, and much attention has recently been paid to the renovation of Humayun’s tomb, which resulted in the dramatically increasing number of visitors to this historic site.
Keywords: India, Delhi, Great Mughals, Humayun, culture, architecture, tomb


The article focuses on the stylistic and thematic characteristics of the works of Kazuyoshi Kumakiri as well as his place in modern-day Japanese cinema. Kumakiri belongs to the generation of young independent Japanese directors of the late 20th - early 21st centuries. They never had to endure the once compulsory long apprenticeship at major studios. Modest budgets of his films permit the director not to sacrifice his identity throughout his career. The director’s path from half-experimental early pieces to almost classical later family dramas is put into relief. Attention is drawn to the fact that given the diversity of genres of Kumakiri’s films, the director nevertheless remains true to the once chosen themes and problems.
Keywords: Japanese cinema, film directing, independent cinema, incest, family drama


 Book Review

OUR CLOSE NEIGHBOR IN THE FAR EAST by Dmitry V. STRELTSOV, Dr.Sc. (History), Professor, Department of Afro-Asian Studies, MGIMO University, and Alexander S. FETISOV, PhD (Geography), Associate Professor, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University
Review of the book: “Social Economic Geography of Japan”. Ed. Tikhotskaya I.S. Moscow, 2016. 526 p. (in Russian)
Keywords: Social economic geography, Japan, food self-sufficiency, living environment, cultural identity, Hokkaido, Okinawa, dominant party


NEW VIEW ON THE MODERNIZATION OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE EAST by Anatoly M. KHAZANOV, Dr.Sc. (History), Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS
Review of the book: Mosyakov D.V. "Modern and contemporary history. The modernization and globalization of Eastern societies". M., Institute of the countries of the East, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, 2016. 560 p. (in Russian)
Keywords: modernization, globalization, reforms, Japan, China, Turkey, India, world wars, democratization


SHAPING THE STATE IN AFRICA: THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN NATION-BUILDING by Sergei V. KOSTELYANETS, PhD (Political Science), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, RAS
Review of the book: “The New African Civil-Military Relations”.Pretoria, 2015, 213 p.
Keywords: Africa, relationship between civilian and military institutions, democratization


* Summary